Press & Media » Wilson Daily


Woman Gets Plenty Of Reading Via Internet Swap

Wilson Daily (Newspaper) - 6/2/2006 by Stephanie Creech
Wilson Daily : Woman Gets Plenty Of Reading Via Internet Swap Mary Bradley was looking for a way to recycle the books she reads when she found the online book trading club, paperbackswap.com.

The club links Bradley with other avid readers from across the country allowing her to order books she wants read. The person Bradley orders the book from pays the postage. When someone orders a book from the list of available titles Bradley posts on the club's Web site, she pays the postage for shipping the book to the person requesting it.

Since joining in November, Bradley has requested and received three to four books a month from other readers in the program and has, according to the Web site, saved about $144, assuming she would have bought the books used instead of new.

Bradley, 28, of Wilson found paperbackswap.com while surfing the Internet looking at book swapping sites. She has listed 45 books that she is willing to trade with her fellow club members. Bradley receives three to five book requests a month, so she is receiving almost the same number of books she sends out each month.

"I try not to get too many at one time because I can't read them all," Bradley said.

She is one of several Wilson area residents who have joined the club since it started about two years ago.

The club was founded by Richard Pickering and Robert Swarthout and is based in Duluth, Ga. The number of book titles readers have listed has grown from 10,000 to more than 425,000 titles since the club started. The more books members trade ,the more opportunities they have to earn free credits for books. When someone joins the club, they are asked to post the titles of at least nine books they are willing to trade. The Web site does say that Pickering and Swarthout plan to eventually charge members annual dues of $10 to $20. But, for now, membership is free.

In a press release, Pickering said he got frustrated with having to pay for the shipping and handling charges connected with buying books from other sources online, so the two decided to create a place where people could trade books.

Bradley hasn't had any trouble with receiving the books she orders. The only drawback is waiting for the other person to send you the requested book.

"But it saves money," Bradley said. "I get them within a week and a half of requesting them. I've never not received a book. I haven't had that happen to me yet. It might, but it hasn't yet."

From the Web site, members can print two sheets of paper to tape around the book and form an envelope of sorts. One page is printed with the name and address of the person requesting the book. It also has an area for attaching postage stamps. All books are mailed at the U.S. Postal Service's media mail rate. The other page contains directions for the person receiving the book to let paperbackswap.com know the book arrived so the person sending the book can receive credit.

Bradley said she can get current best sellers. She likes to read historical fiction and current events. If there is a book Bradley wants but she doesn't find it on any other member's list, she can put the book on her wish list. When the book becomes available, it is automatically sent to her. Bradley compared unexpectedly receiving a book off her wish list to receiving a Christmas gift.

Before joining paperbackswap.com, Bradley used the library and combed yard sales for books.